Living Gluten-Free & Happy Through The Holidays
There’s a lot of hubbub about gluten these days. The most frequent questions I hear are, “What is gluten?” and “why is it put into food in the first place?” Gluten is the name for proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale, which is a cross between wheat and rye. It’s put into foods to help them keep shape, almost acting as a glue holding each bite together.
Who has problems with gluten? Individuals with:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
- Gluten Intolerant
Researchers estimate that 6 to 7 percent of the population may fall into one of these categories, which amounts to about twenty million people in the United States alone.
So if you happen to be one of those “lucky” 20 million people, how on Earth are you supposed to enjoy the Holidays? Well, to help you out, I've created a handy list of popular holiday foods that don’t typically contain gluten:
- Plain turkey: Skip the gravy and traditional stuffing. Bonus: Turkey contains a lot of yummy protein too.
- Plain ham: Meats are often gluten-free.
- Mashed and sweet potatoes: Skip the butter and check with the chef to be sure no flour was added to the potatoes.
- Vegetables and fruit: If the veggie is covered in a cream based sauce, skip it, as most cream sauces have flour.
- Dessert: choose a gluten-free cookie or brownie mix available now at most grocery stores.
Some family favorite gluten-free recipes for the Holidays
- Gluten-Free Turkey Gravy
- Classic Bread Stuffing
- Rhubarb Pie with Gluten-Free Crust
- 12 Easy Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies
My Favorite: Pineapple Fluff Pie
*This super simple recipe makes two tasty pies!
- 1 can crushed pineapple well drained
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 9 ounces cool whip
- 2 ready-made gluten free graham cracker pie crusts
- Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie crusts (split mixture)
- Refrigerate overnight or until firm (4-6 hours)
- Top with cool whip before serving
Article written by Kim Bassett, edited by Rosa Sanchez